Theft in rural areas often a “crime of opportunity”, says OPP Constable
Ontario Provincial Police are asking owners of rural properties, including farm operators, to do their best to discourage theft.
Instances of stealing from farm properties vary in what is stolen, with tools, firearms and equipment being popular choices, but often the thief could have been stopped if property owners took simply steps to put barriers between their possessions and potential thieves.
“Theft is a crime of opportunity,” says OPP Constable Kevin Martin. “If you’re an easy target for a thief, then there’s a higher probability that they will take something that you own”.
Martin says he doesn’t want rural property owners rushing to spend time and money on securing tool sheds and equipment being stored in large buildings, but “things like a fence, doesn’t need to be a six-foot fence, and it doesn’t need to be made of steel. It needs to define the boundaries of your property, so an innocent hiker won’t be going across your land. They’ll recognize the barrier as a property boundary”.
He also says that by issuing theft reports through the media, the OPP are trying to alert property owners of theft occurrences in that area, saying “we’ll use our media channels to let you know if something is going on in the area. That should be a key for you. It’s almost like if something is happening down the road, I better take some measures here at my place because I don’t want to lose this stuff”.